Wat Phra Non Chaksi in Sing Buri, is famous for its impressive 46m Reclining Buddha, one of the largest in Thailand.
It is difficult to grasp the scale of the Buddha. In fact, it’s not easy to see the whole thing, because it is behind the columns on the right of the picture below.
As a result, you only see it in slices, until you go behind the columns, where you can view the whole thing, but from a rather oblique angle. The difficulty of seeing the whole image at once is, perhaps, a device to add to the mystery of the experience.
Beyond the head and behind the back of the Reclining Buddha there are dozens of Buddha images of various sizes, with different hand gestures. At least one was in a non-lotus position. I did not really think about this at the time. I was busy just soaking up the atmosphere. The whole experience was rather overwhelming. Next time I’ll be able to pay a little more attention so such details.
Before venturing into the building that houses the Reclining Buddha we passed though the other areas of the Wat, lighting incense, making offerings, and being blessed by a monk. I was pleased that I had learned enough before I went to Thailand that I didn’t have to bug my friends with endless questions, which would have tended to destroy the mood. With a little prior knowledge and judicious observation I managed to not make a complete fool of myself.
At the feet of the Reclining Buddha there are statues for each day of the week. Here I realised that my preparations had a fatal flaw. You are supposed to make an offering to the statue corresponding to the day you were born. The amount of the offering is different depending on the day, as you can see from the list on the wall. I had a vague recollection that my birthday was either Friday or Monday, so I figured I had a 50% chance of getting it right but, of course, I guessed wrong. I hope that the Monday statue appreciated the gold leaf and the 15 baht.
Viewing this spectacularly impressive Reclining Buddha and experiencing the other aspects of the Wat was a very satisfying experience and a wonderful way to round off my first trip to Thailand.